• Modified on Jul 24, 2024

Nepal has something undeniably magical about it. With breathtaking Himalayas touching the sky, the diverse culture soaked in tradition, and the heartiness of the people, Nepal has a way of braiding its magic on you. 
I guided five incredible women a few weeks back – Bitisha, Tanuja, Haseena, Chitra, and Deepika- on the Mardi Himal Adventure. For five days, we are on a journey through beautiful landscapes, challenges, companionship, and self-discovery. This short Nepal trek took us through breathtaking landscapes in the Annapurna region, ffering stunning views of majestic mountains and a rewarding challenge for first-time trekkers like some in our group.

mardi trek

Table of Content

Meet our team 

Our incredible crew for the Mardi Himal Trek - Khilnath Dai, our guide, brimmed with experience and local knowledge, while Basu and Sagar, our ever-reliable porters, ensured our journey would be smooth and comfortable. Together, their expertise and commitment would be the backbone of our upcoming adventure.

footprint mardi 2024 team

Day 1: A Soaring Start: Kathmandu to Pokhara

Our adventure began in Kathmandu excitedly, picking up everyone from the Kantipur Village Hotel. We boarded a flight to Pokhara, our gateway to the Annapurna region treks and our first destination towards the mountains. The view was truly magnificent-  snowcapped peaks sparkling far away promising the beauty that awaited.

at the airport ready to fly

Hitting the Road: Pokhara to Kande

As soon as we landed in Pokhara, it was time to hustle. We landed at our scheduled time and piled into a Scorpio, a popular mode of transportation in Nepal. During that one-and-a-half-hour ride, I got a chance to know Tanuja and Chitra. I will talk about it later in the blog about how amazed I was to witness their crazy yet beautiful relationship as a teacher and a student who later became trekking buddies. 
Our journey continued towards Kande, the gateway to the Mardi Himal Trek and Annapurna Base Camp. Here, we met Basu and Sagar, our reliable porters who would lighten our loads and ensure a smooth Nepal trekking experience. After a quick tea break, we were ready for our trek. 

group packing bags at kande

Taking the First Step: Kande to Deurali

Thanks to our strong porters who made our backpacks lighter. With that, we started walking towards the Australian Camp, our first lunch stop. The trail, filled with lush greenery, introduced us to the mountain environment. After a hearty lunch, we headed towards Deurali, our first overnight stop on the Mardi Himal Trek. The day unfolded with leisure while we stretched our legs, chatted, and were lost in the beauty of nature.

after lunch at australian camp mardi

Deurali: Our First Mountain Stop

When we reached Deurali, excitement and relief filled the air. We stretched our muscles with the help of Haseena, our very own trainer. It was a great pleasure to have a strength coach on the trek and boy! we were happy. We stayed in the Mardi Station Hotel where we gathered for a delicious dinner. With a full tummy, excitement, and anticipation, we got into our cozy beds, ready for the adventures on the Mardi Himal Trek.

deurali hotel mardi station

Day 2: Laughter, Holi Celebrations, and a Misty Arrival

The mountain air filled our lungs when we woke up in Deurali, ready for the second day of our Mardi Himal Trek adventure. After a yummy breakfast, we got excited by what we saw in front of us. The majestic peaks of Himchuli, and Annapurna, and a quick sight of the iconic Machapuchhare in the clear blue sky. The beauty that unfolded was our motivation for the day. We made a short video for a reel and began our hike. 

The day was exciting from the beginning, like starting an upbeat song. Dancing and singing along the trails became a routine that echoed through the nooks and corners of the jungle. It was a perfect time for us to share laughter and stories and get to know one another. For fun, I even taught everyone the Nepalese Folk song " Resham Firiri" which later turned into our travel anthem. 

with the owners of rhythm hotel

For lunch, we stopped at the Forest Camp in Hotel Rhythm. Interestingly, this day was the Holi festival in Nepal. We wished everyone a very "Happy Holi!" and called our friends and families back home. I was missing everyone, especially my friends in the office. Our enthusiasm caught the hotel owner's attention after which he offered us a packet of yellow powder to play with. We were thrilled to have our mini Holi celebration right there on the trail. With laughter and colors adding magic to the day, we left the friendly folks at Forest Camp and started our trek toward the Rest Camp, our stop for the night. It was an easy walk from the Forest Camp to the Rest Camp but when we arrived, a blanket of mist covered the spectacular view we had hoped to see. Although there was a slight disappointment- the laughter, the unexpected Holi celebration, and the companionship left us with a lifelong memory. We stayed at the Hotel Rest camp and restaurant for the night. 

Day 3: Pushing Higher: Rest camp to High camp

The third day of the Mardi Himal Trek was a mix of both anticipation and perseverance. Here's a recap!

Fueling Up (and gearing up)

tibetan bread

After a hearty breakfast, we were ready to bid goodbye to the cozy and hospitable rest camp. When the yummy Tibetan bread fueled our bodies to ascent ahead, we packed our bags with high spirits (and a bit of optimism). Even though the swirling haze covered the possible mountain view, we departed from the rest camp at around 9 am, leaving the rest camp's familiar surroundings. 

Walking Through the Mist

We knew it would be a pretty long day since we had to hike all the way from the Rest camp to the High camp. We walked at a comfortable pace enjoying the cool and fresh mountain morning. The initial trail was quite similar to yesterday's. While the gorgeous view was still in the veil, the anticipation of reaching higher and possibly breaking through those fluffy clouds kept our determination strong.

selfie on the way

A Refreshing Pause at Low Camp

By 11 am we reached low camp to drop off our extra luggage. The low camp, a popular stopover on the Mardi Himal Trek, was a perfect opportunity to rehydrate and rest for a while. Though the view we had hoped for was on hold for now, the sense of progress and the companionship among the group maintained a positive vibe throughout. Since we didn't need all our stuff at the High Camp, we intended to leave some of our belongings at the Low Camp Hotel. This lightened our load for the steeper climb ahead.

way to low camp

Onward to Badal Danda:

With lighter packs, we stepped on the next leg of the trek. The next four hours were dedicated to reaching Badal Danda for lunch. The path might have become more challenging, but our goal of reaching our destination kept us going. Upon reaching the periphery of Badal Danda, the face of the trail started to change. Even though there was a blanket of crazy fog blocking our view, we didn't stop. 

with hotel panaroma dai

We arrived at the Badal Danda after a rewarding hike. Our tiredness swept away when the kind-hearted and surprisingly funny owner of the Hotel Panorama welcomed us. After sloughing off our bags, everyone gathered around the fireplace and started chatting. Meanwhile, Khil Dai, Sagar, Baasu, and I, helped the hotel owner prepare lunch for everyone. We were happy to help him in the kitchen with all the chopping and plating. The food was exceptional. After his warm hospitality and that soul-warming plate of dal-bhat, we were ready to move ahead. 

The Final Push to High Camp: 

The one-hour hike to High Camp, though challenging, was perked up by all the deep and fun conversations we had along the way. Knowing that our cozy accommodation and breathtaking mountain views awaited us at High Camp pushed us forward.

with the boys at high camp

Reaching Our Mountain Refuge:

In the late afternoon, we reached the high camp with a sense of accomplishment. Tanuja Ma'am and I were delighted as soon as we saw the board of the hotel. I have met the friendliest and funniest woman in high camp who is the owner of the Hotel Mardi Peak. As we settled in, the memories of the day's adventure – the challenging climbs and the warm hospitality just filled me with satisfaction.

at high camp

Day 4: Reaching the Mardi Himal Viewpoint: A Journey of Wonder and Reward

A Trek Beginning with Hope: Witnessing Machapucchre

Our day began around 3 am. I remember waking Bitisha di to witness the first clear sight of Mt. Fishtail. It was a personal experience for her considering it was her first trek. First treks are always special and every little thing matters. We were already very skeptical about what would happen the next morning. The weather hadn't been in our favor since the beginning of our trek. But the moment I saw Machapucchre that morning, I was hopeful. 

3am in high camp

The Challenging Climb to the Viewpoint: Pushing Onward

After some time we bundled up in layers against the cold and climbed up to the Mardi Himal viewpoint. The initial paths were steeper than the previous days, so we took small steps. it had snowed the day before, so the trail was icy and slippery in some places.  If I talk about my experience on that trail, I would say I had the best time. I dare say, that the only thing I had in my mind was " I want to see everyone at the top". The entire journey from high camp to the viewpoint was something truly magical. If you are to see the viewpoint from the high camp, it doesn't look as overwhelming as it is once you start walking. At some point, you might even feel like the trail is never-ending. we saw people returning from the middle because the steep trail was quite difficult. Some group members were about to give up when the sun rose halfway. 

snowy trail to mardi

Unforgettable Sights from the Top: A Golden Reward

A sense of accomplishment filled the air when we reached the viewpoint. The sunrise painted the mountains with a golden hue and the sight was beyond words. It will forever etch in my memory of what I saw that morning.

sunrise in mardi

The majestic Annapurna ranges standing tall and royal made our entire climb worthwhile. The best part about that morning was every single one of us made it to the top. With our hearts brimming with the satisfaction of reaching the top, we were ready to descend to high camp after taking pictures and indulging in the crisp mountain environment.

mt. fishtail

The two-hour descent from the Mardi Himal View Point to the High Camp was a journey on its own. The mountains started covering up as soon as we decided to descend, even blocking the sight of the trail. We spotted a herd of yaks grazing and resting around the plain grounds of the hill. We enjoyed our time chatting with each other and reminiscing about the challenges and the triumphs. Soon after reaching the Mardi High camp for breakfast and having a little time to relax and pack our bags, we were ready to go down. 

Yaks grazing

Gentle Descent to Low Camp

The descent from the high camp was much easier after the exertion of the climb. Our legs were pretty grateful for the incline, and the fresh mountain air was more encouraging on the way down. We stopped at Badal Dada's cozy Hotel Panorama to thank our dai. The steaming cup of hot lemon hit the spot perfectly, warming us up from the outside in.

Reaching low camp felt like reaching home to me for a second. Tiredness from the entire day faded away as we settled in front of the fireplace at the Hotel Low Camp.  The atmosphere turned festive, and soon we were all dancing around the flames, fueled by the infectious energy of the moment.


The girls in the group were particularly impressed by my Bollywood knowledge. Every song they threw my way, from classic tunes to the latest hits, seemed to unlock a vault of lyrics in my memory. It was a night of pure joy, celebrating our accomplishments and the shared experience of the trek. 

dancing at low camp

DAY 5: Descending the mountain and unexpected delays

Our fifth day welcomed a change of pace- a descent! we left the low camp behind and trekked for 3 enjoyable hours down to siding. the trail offered stunning views of blooming rhododendrons as we returned down the mountains. Reaching siding, we stooped for a well-deserved lunch at the Chiya Kaka Hotel that Khil Dai recommended. Everybody enjoyed a delicious plate of dal-bhat with chicken as a reward. on our way to the jeep stop, we met some villagers and had the most heartwarming experience while exchanging random fun conversations with them.

coming down to siding

Saying goodbye to the mountains, we hopped into the jeep for the scenic 2-hour drive back to Pokhara. Laughter filled the jeep as we reminisced about the amazing experiences of the past few days. After the ride, we reached and checked into Abaas Pokhara and settled in for the night.

Unfortunately, bad weather threw a curveball at us- Khil Dai and Bitisha Di's flights were canceled! we quickly arranged their stay at the Hotel Pokhara View and booked an early morning flight for the next day. To end the day on a high note, we enjoyed a delicious dinner with Haseena, Deepika, Chitra Ma'am, and Tanuja Ma'am at the bustling Busy Bee restaurant. 

Day 6: Hitting the road and back to Kathmandu

The weather gods weren't cooperating with us and all the flights out of Pokhara remained grounded. With a flexible spirit, we decided to hire a hiace van for the journey back to Kathmandu as the girls had to catch their flight back home. We departed around 12:30 pm, taking in all the memories that we had created in the past week. Unfortunately, our return wasn't without its challenges. we encountered a landslide along the way, causing a delay and turning the drive into a more hectic experience. Despite this obstacle, we finally reached Kathmandu around 4:30 am, a little worse of wear but with a sense of relief.  

Even with the unexpected detour and long travel time, these final days of the Mardi Himal trek added another layer of adventure to the experience. We shared laughter, faced challenges together, and created lasting memories that will undoubtedly be part of our storytelling for years to come.

Big shoutout to my incredible Footprint Adventure family, this trek wouldn't have been the same without all of you. Thank you for creating this incredible opportunity to challenge myself, explore breathtaking landscapes, and forge lasting memories. Thank you to this amazing team of ladies for choosing us. Y’all crushed it with your determination, good vibes, and killer dance moves (especially you Bollywood queens!). The laughs, stories, and adventures we shared made this trip unforgettable. Thanks for making it such a memorable experience!

at the mardi himal view point

Some useful contacts at the Mardi Himal Trek:

Jeep to Kande9866046643
Australian Camp Restaurant9856021860
Pittam Deurali (teahouse)9846217267
Rest Camp (teahouse)9856014428
Low Camp (teahouse)9856085611
High Camp (teahouse)9856081537
Siding Hotel (teahouse)9845176612
Pokhara Hiace9818192068
Siding Jeep 9866046643
Forest Camp (Rythm Hotel)9826635982
Salona Dhungana

Salona Dhungana

Salona Dhungana is a dynamic individual who wears multiple hats with effortless grace. As the Operation Head of Footprint Adventure, she brings a unique blend of professionalism, creativity, and compassion. Her journey from a dedicated nurse to a passionate writer and influential leader is an inspiring narrative of growth and versatility.
Salona's educational background as a nurse has deeply built in her a sense of care and empathy. Her experience in the healthcare sector provided her with invaluable skills in teamwork, crisis management, and meticulous organization – qualities that seamlessly transitioned into her role as the Operations Head. Her ability to manage intricate logistical details with a compassionate touch sets her apart in the adventure travel industry. 

Beyond her operational skills, Salona's creative personality finds many different ways to express itself. She effortlessly crafts her words and expertise into fascinating blogs. Her love for writing extends beyond the limits with a way of creating a lasting impression.

Salona's vibrant spirit isn't limited to her professional pursuits. Dance, for her, is a form of self-expression – a way to communicate emotions that words sometimes can't capture. Singing is another avenue through which Salona finds inner harmony. It's a reminder that among the hustle and bustle of operations, there's always room for the soothing embrace of her melody.

In the ever-evolving landscape of adventure travel, Salona stands as an example of inspiration, showcasing the profound impact of creativity, compassion, and continuous self-discovery. As a writer, dancer, singer, and Operations Head, she not only defines versatility but also exemplifies the beautiful symphony that can be created when passion meets profession.